The Nauvoo Star

The inverted five-pointed star was first displayed on the exterior of the Nauvoo, IL Temple in the early 1840s. The five-pointed star is often represented as the morning star.

The descending ray of the Nauvoo Temple’s inverted five-point star stones (there is only one surviving example and it is damaged) was extended downward. Such an orientation suggests the rising morning star. This “star” is not a star at all, but the planet Venus. Venus’ brightness is a reflection of the sun, which invisible below the horizon. The extended ray portrays the source of the morning stars brightness, not the planet itself, but the sun’s brilliance. 

Through a unique orbital characteristic Venus shares a relationship with the five-pointed star. Carl G. Liungman explains: “If one knows the ecliptic and can pinpoint the present position of the planets in relation to the fixed star of the zodiac, it is possible to mark the exact place in the 360 degrees of the zodiac where the Morning star first appears shortly before sunrise after a period of invisibility. If we do this, waiting for the Morning star to appear again 584 days later (the orbital time of Venus) and mark its position in the zodiac, and then repeat this process until we have five positions of Venus as the Morning star, we will find that exactly eight years plus one day have passed.

ImageIf we then draw a line from the first point marked to the second point marked, then to the third, and so on, we end up with a pentagram [five-pointed star]”  No other celestial object, whether planet or star, has this orbital characteristic; it is wholly unique to Venus (the Morning/Evening Star). 

Jesus Christ is called the “bright and morning star” (Rev 22:16). The star stones on the Nauvoo Temple, some with their unique lengthened ray, are a fitting symbol of Jesus Christ as the morning star. Additionally, the circle is a symbol of eternity and it is wholly fitting that the symbol of Jesus Christ in the circular windows (five-pointed stars) was framed by a circle.

Furthermore, between the star stones in the frieze were circular windows. The architect’s drawing of these windows repeated the motif of the star stones with inverted five-pointed stars, unifying the design of this part of the temple.


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